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Gene Leflore Bidwell III, PhD

bidwell_gene.jpgMy research interests include targeted drug delivery, therapeutic peptides, and protein-based therapeutics. My background and training included the development of stimulus-responsive drug carriers for targeting drugs to solid tumors. We utilized a thermally responsive carrier to target therapeutic peptides and small molecule chemotherapeutics to tumor sites using focused heating. My current research interests include engineering protein carriers for delivery of peptide and protein-based therapeutics in several disease models.

One of our current areas of focus is drug delivery during pregnancy. We are developing carriers that can be fused to therapeutic agents, including chemotherapeutics, peptides, and proteins, that prevent them from crossing the placenta and reaching the baby. Our goal is to develop a means to treat disorders of pregnancy (such as preeclampsia) without risking harm to the developing fetus from drug exposure.

Our lab also has an interest in therapeutic angiogenesis for kidney disease. We are examining the use of carrier-fused, kidney-targeted growth factors for protection or regeneration of renal vasculature in the context of renal artery stenosis and chronic kidney disease.

Our lab is also focused on delivery of neurotrophic growth factors to the brain (via intranasal administration or direct focal injection) for therapy of neurological disorders. We are currently evaluating the delivery of a protein carrier-fused VEGF for therapy of spinocerebellar ataxia. Fusion of growth factors as a chimera with this protein carrier allows us to easily purify the agents after recombinant expression and stabilizes them for use in vivo.

The fourth area of focus in our lab is developing a drug delivery system for administering therapeutics to the eye. We are working to create anti-angiogenic and anti-microbial agents that have corneal penetrating capability to treat ocular disorders such as corneal neovascularization and bacterial keratitis.